A hospital showed “poor behaviour” towards junior staff and “a culture of bullying behaviour”, health inspectors have said.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has downgraded Northampton General Hospital from “good” to “requires improvement”.
Inspectors also found the hospital’s maternity and medical care “requires improvement”.
Dr Sonia Swart, chief executive, said staff should be treated “the way we care for patients”.
She also said the hospital had seen “unprecedented levels of demand”.
Dr Swart said: “Of course we’re disappointed, given our previous overall rating of ‘good’.
“However, demand for our services has risen. This has impacted on our ability to sustain and improve our services even further.”
The CQC, which visited in June and July this year, also found that the hospital “requires improvement” in safety and leadership.
The report said that the maternity and medical care departments must manage their medicines better in the future.
Inspectors found the hospital did not always have enough staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience.
The report said the hospital had “a culture of poor behaviour, especially towards more junior colleagues”.
It also said that “staff feedback and experience showed a culture of bullying behaviour”.
Dr Swart said: “If we could translate the way we care for patients to the way we care for one another, that would be better for both our staff and, ultimately, our patients.”
Professor Ted Baker, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said there were areas where the hospital “was not meeting standards seen previously”.
But he praised the staff, and said they “treated people respectfully with kindness and compassion, helping them emotionally when required, such as following baby loss”.
The hospital was rated “good” for effectiveness, responsiveness and urgent and emergency care.